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20 years

Lawmakers push to declare Alberto Cañas a National Hero

June 17th, 2014 ( Lawmakers have submitted a proposal to declare Alberto Cañas, the politician, journalist, writer and playwright who helped found both the National Liberation Party (PLN) and Citizen Action Party (PAC), a National Hero following his death on Saturday, June 14th.


Cañas is known as one of the most important figures in the cultural, political, and social life of Costa Rica during the latter half of the twentieth century.


Cañas was Vice Minister of International Relations (1955–1956), ambassador to the United Nations, and a two-time deputy (1962–1966 and 1994–1998). Additionally, he was the first Minister of Culture, Youth, and Sports (1970). He edited several newspapers including Diario de Costa Rica and La República.  He wrote editorials for La Nación, La Prensa Libre, and Semanario Universidad.  Cañas is the great-grandson of General José María Cañas Escamilla.


Cañas attended the University of Costa Rica, studying law and graduating as an attorney in 1944.  He served as President of the Journalists Association in 1952, President of Editorial Costa Rica since 1960, and President of the Writers Association from 1960 to 1961.


In 1971, Cañas founded the National Theater Company and helped found the Citizens’ Action Party (PAC) in 2002.


Additionally, Cañas was a permanent member of the Costa Rican Academy of Language. He also hosted “Así es la cosa” (“Here’s the Thing”) on Radio Monumental, alongside Fernando Durán and Álvaro Fernández. Cañas also wrote “Chisporroteos” (Crackles), a newspaper column for more than forty years which made him one of Costa Rica’s most prolific authors. He was also a professor at the University of Costa Rica in the school of Social Sciences.


Cañas passed away on June 14th following complications from a hernia surgery.  He was 94 years old.

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